Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cycling From Our Hillside Castle to the Sea

Cycling Dali's Landscapes in Spain's Costa Brava - Day 8 and 9

Day 8:
Today we rode 21 miles from Upper Emporda to Lower Emporda and our seaside spa hotel. 

 Cycling Through Small Villages in Upper Emporda

 Sunflower Fields Upper Emporda

Along the way we stopped in the village of Verges. Every year on Maundy Thursday the residents of Verges carefully perform a macabre dance that dates back to 1666; the Dance of Death. The dance symbolizes the Black Death and includes scythe bearing skeletons that dance while spinning in 360° circles to designate that no one escapes death. 


The festival celebrates the human triumph over plague.

From here we pedaled to our lunch stop at Mas Pi. In Catalan "Mas" means "home of". Here we had a spectacular family style feast served al fresco. Every dish seemed to eclipse the last, beginning with a sweet cold (frogs back) melon soup to exquisite skewers of lamb. The owner repeatedly came to make sure we were enjoying our feast.    
Our Lunch Host at Mas Pi
After Arriving at St. Marti d'Empuries where we checked into our lux oceanfront hotel Hostal Spa Empuries. The rest of the afternoon we were free to take a swim in the Mediterranean, secure a spa treatment or explore adjacent Greek and Roman ruins.

Hostal Spa Empuries

 View from My Hotel Spa Empuries

Day 9:
Today we rode 31 miles through farms and villages with a picnic lunch at the Aiguamolls Natural Reserve. Of all the rides so far today's was (for me) the only disappointment as it included a lot of time spent riding on very busy highways with small shoulders and really not much scenery.

The day however was salvaged by our visit to Salvador Dali's museum in his hometown of Figueres. While I put Dali into the same category as Andy Warhol (i.e. self promoting eccentrics), the museum offered me some additional insight into the artist. 

The museum was created from a theater that was partially destroyed by bombing in the Spanish civil war. The main seating area has become and outdoor forecourt showcasing Dali's raining limousine and lots of assemblage art.

The large stage area is now capped with a dome shaped skylight and features some of Dali's larger canvases. This is where Dali is entombed. 

We spent time in a smaller gallery that houses pieces Dali felt were some of his most important. 

We completed our main museum tour in a gallery featuring a full living room that becomes Mae West and a gallery with a huge ciueling fresco with Dali and Gala arising to heaven. 

The tour then moved to a bank vault gallery showcasing examples of the over-the-top jewelry he designed.

The Dali Museum

Ceiling Fresco - Dali and Gala
(Dali is identifiable by his moustache)

The Dali Museum 
(Covered in bread and capped with eggs)

Dali's Muse and Wife Gala

Dali Jewelry
The Eye of Time (1949)

Our day with Dali was capped with a wonderful dinner in a village near our hotel.

Roadboy's Travels © 2016

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